Virginia Foundation for the Humanities

Charlottesville, VA—Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH) announces $65,900 in grants to sixteen nonprofit organizations in support of public humanities programs for audiences throughout the Commonwealth and beyond.

The VFH Grant Program responds directly to the interests and concerns of local communities in Virginia, as well as to the needs of the educational organizations that serve them. Since 1974, VFH has awarded more than 3,000 grants, bringing scholars and citizens together to promote a greater understanding of the humanities.

VFH grant projects reach an estimated annual audience of 1.5 million, with an average 4:1 dollar match. Rob Vaughan, founding president of VFH, comments: “The Foundation’s work touches every city, county, and district across the state and beyond. Our grants are often the initial source of funding, helping ambitious projects find a foothold and supporting small organizations that encourage connections and discoveries at the most local level.”

As a result of VFH grant funding, exhibits, public forums and discussions, media programs (film, video, radio, and digital media), publications, research, teachers’ institutes and seminars, oral history projects, lectures and conferences, and other kinds of programs have harnessed the power of the humanities to address important issues and enrich the cultural life of the state. The following organizations received grants from VFH between August 2015 and January 2016:

Amherst Glebe Arts Resource (Amherst): $2,500

Edgar Allan Poe: Central Virginia’s Gothic Son — An exhibit, lecture series, and film screenings exploring the work of Edgar Allan Poe and its continuing impact on American culture, with a focus on Poe’s connections to Virginia. 

Cultural Affairs Division of Arlington County (Arlington): $9,000

Echoes of Little Saigon: Southeast Asian Immigration and the Changing Faces of Arlington – Publication of a booklet and community forum exporing the history of the Arlington commercial district formerly known as “Little Saigon,” which was the hub of community life for many immigrants and refugees who came to the D.C. area after the fall of South Vietnam in 1975.

Curry School of Education at U.Va. (Charlottesville): $5,000

The 1963 Danville Civil Rights Movement: The Protests, the People, the Stories – An exhibit, publication, and development of a lesson plan for Virginia teachers exploring key events and legacies of the Civil Rights Movement in Danville.

Friends of Breaks Park (Breaks): $1,500

The Breaks: Centuries of Struggle – A one-hour documentary film on the history of the region that encompasses the Breaks State Park on the Virginia-Kentucky border and on the challenges facing this region—and the park itself—in the present day.

Hampton University (Hampton): $8,000

The Aberdeen Gardens Historic District Oral History and Mapping Project – An oral history and digital mapping project exploring the history of Aberdeen Gardens, a planned community built in the 1930s for African Americans in the Hampton/Newport News area.

James Madison University (Harrisonburg): $2,000

Journeying Together: Building Intercultural Parental Relations within Dual Immersion Programs — A five-week “intercultural seminar” designed to overcome language and other barriers that separate English-speaking and Spanish-speaking families enrolled in the Dual Language Immersion program in the Harrisonburg public schools.

Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection at U.Va. (Charlottesville): $1,500

First People: Indigenous Writers from Australia and North America – A reading and panel discussion in which six indigenous Australian writers read from their work and engage in dialogue with two Native American writers on the subject of “writing from an indigenous perspective.”

Lynchburg College (Lynchburg): $2,400

Violence and Community: Exploring Hate – A five-part series of lecture-discussion programs exploring the subject of hate and violence from multiple perspectives.

Norfolk State University (Norfolk): $2,500

The Arc of Social Justice: From 1619 to the 1965 Voting Rights Act and Beyond – A panel discussion exploring the evolution of civil rights in America, with a special focus on the history of the Voting Rights Act.

Norfolk State University (Norfolk): $4,000

Hidden Virginia History: The Connection Between Buffalo Soldiers and the Philippines – A photographic exhibit and community discussion offered in two locations, Norfolk and Williamsburg, exploring the connection between African Americans and the Philippines, mainly through the experience of Buffalo soldiers serving in the Spanish-American and Philippine-American wars.

Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association (Alexandria): $2,000

Women of Alexandria, from Antebellum to the 20th Century – A series of four public lectures focusing on the impact of the Civil War on the lives of women in Alexandria, VA.

Richmond Jazz Society Incorporated (Richmond): $8,000

Support the Exhibit: Jazz in Virginia: The Early Years, 1900-1949 – An interpretive exhibit on the early years of jazz in Virginia (1900 – 1949), with an emphasis on the musical culture of the Richmond area during this period. 

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (Rutledge): $3,000

Saving the Past (documentary film) – Continuation of research and a series of first-person interviews with scholars and agriculturalists for a forthcoming documentary film on the history of seed-saving in Virginia and the U.S., from Thomas Jefferson to the present day.

Virginia Children’s Book Festival (Keysville): $2,000

Virginia Children’s Book Festival: Parent Programs – A series of programs for the parents of young readers presented as part of the 2015 Virginia Children’s Book festival, held at Longwood University in Farmville.   

VMI Research Laboratories, Inc. (Lexington): $6,000

Ethical Dilemmas in the Digital Age – A two-day conference on “Ethical Dilemmas in the Digital Age,” with a focus on national security and individual rights. 

Ward Foundation, Inc. (Salisbury, MD): $4,000

Chincoteague, Virginia Decoys and Makers: Exhibit and Book – Research, production of an interpretive exhibit, publication of a book, and roundtable discussion with scholars and present-day carvers, exploring the decoy-carving traditions of Chincoteague Island.  

About VFH Grants: The Open Grant Program welcomes proposals on a wide range of subjects, for projects in any format. Deadlines are April 15th and October 15th. Draft proposals are strongly encouraged. The Discretionary Grant Program provides smaller grants of up to $3,000. There is no deadline for this program, but applicants should contact VFH staff in advance before submitting a proposal. For more information, visit

About VFH: The mission of Virginia Foundation for the Humanities is to connect people and ideas to explore the human experience and inspire cultural engagement. VFH reaches an estimated annual audience of 23 million through the Center for the Book, Community Programs, Digital Initiatives, and Scholarship. For more information, visit

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